HARRISBURG, October 17, 2022 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas today sent a letter to the Human Relations Commission along with House Members of the PA Legislative Black Caucus and the Women’s Health Caucus, where she serves as co-chair, requesting the institution to investigate a recent incident that occurred at the Philly Pregnancy Center.
The letter states that a black pregnant patient from Delaware County was harassed and scolded by a staffer who was questioning the need of a doctor’s note to leave work.
“While we have made great strides, there is still much work to be done and the incident that took place at the Philly Pregnancy Center Norristown location exemplifies the reasons we are not done yet,” Members highlight in the letter. “Pregnant and birthing people in Pennsylvania should have safe places to seek and receive equitable care no matter their ZIP code, race, ethnicity, gender or income level. As shown in the viral video, that is not always the case.”
The correspondence also signed by state Reps. Mary Joe Daley, D-Montgomery, co-chair; Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chairwoman and Darisha Parker, D-Phila., chairwoman of the PLBC Subcommittee on Women & Girls of Color. It emphasized the need to hold providers accountable for their interactions with patients in order to guarantee a fairness in the services they offer.
The caucus also highlighted in the letter that there is an imperative to protect and expand access to care, considering the state of the reproductive health across the nation and rising maternal mortality rates across the state.
Senator Amanda Cappalletti, D-Montgomery/Delaware, who represents the district where the incident occurred, explains that with reproductive and maternal healthcare remaining inaccessible in parts of Delaware County, women and child-bearing individuals are already feeling the stress of traveling long distance to access quality prenatal healthcare, particularly black women, and child-bearing individuals.
“Black maternal mortality and morbidity rates are rising, making it even more crucial they have compassionate prenatal healthcare providers that will listen to their needs, not rebuke them,” said Cappalletti, Senate co-chair of the Women’s Health Caucus.
Earlier this legislative session, Cephas introduce HB1176 which would require implicit bias training as a part of continued education for healthcare professionals in Pennsylvania.